After two years in the spotlight as one of the ‘Big Three’ of high-end virtual reality, HTC Vive has busily been establishing itself as the ‘premium’ option even within that area. However, VR is an industry which is undergoing rapid change and growth, and it is difficult to know what the future hold, but there are some educated guesses that can be made on what will happen next.
With the launch of the HTC Vive Pro, it seems clear that HTC want to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the high end VR market. Indeed, the HTC Vive has become one of the most common devices at location-based VR centres and VR arcades.
Though that top-end technology remains out of reach for many users, its not hard to see a parallel between the development of home videogame consoles and the arcades of the 80s and 90s. Those two existed in symbiosis, with new titles first heading to high-end arcades before being ported down to home consoles. With the standalone HTC Vive Focus heading to international markets this year, its conceivable that future titles could first appear on the HTC Vive Pro before heading down the line from the standard Vive to the Vive Focus for more casual consumers.
Meanwhile, the HTC Vive Pro will be pushed as the best option for location-based VR centres, along with the Viveport subscription for operators of those centres to make it an attractive deal, along with further developments of wireless systems like the TPCast to bring an untethered experience.
The HTC Vive Focus will likely be marketed as a lower-cost option, sitting in the mid-tier as an option for those unsatisfied by mobile VR but who might be put off by the initial outlay costs for high-end, PC-based VR.
Meanwhile, on the accessories front, Valve have been quietly working on the ‘Knuckles’ controllers, a further iteration of the Vive Wands that offer a more ergonomic design as well as the promise of individual finger tracking, a feature that could make a huge difference in the level of precision and immersion offered. Once those are released, you can also expect a scrabble from Oculus and PlayStation to try and catch up to the paradigm, though there are some signs that Sony have considered that already.
Of course, no one can no for sure what will happen in the future, and it’s possible that Valve and HTC have some unanticipated tricks up their sleeves. Either way, VRFocus will continue to keep you informed on what the new things come from HTC Vive.